This is my favorite Christmas cookie recipe by far—but it’s so good I make it any time of the year!

If there’s one non-negotiable Christmas cookie at my house, it’s this one. Filled with a scrumptious mixture of figs, walnuts, raisins, orange, and honey, these traditional Fig Cookies are a staple in Italian households. I love to top them with a confectioners’ sugar glaze and a sprinkle of colorful nonpareils which makes them a festive addition to my Christmas cookie gift boxes (and holiday dessert table)! 

italian fig

You do need a little special equipment for this recipe—I make my fig mixture by processing the filling ingredients through the grinder attachment on my stand mixer. Since this is my signature cookie, the recipe is designed to make a very large batch—enough for me and my husband, our four children, and all of our holiday guests. You’ve been warned!

Yield: Makes 10 dozen cookies
Italian Fig Cookie Recipe (Cuccidati or Buccellati)

Italian Fig Cookie Recipe (Cuccidati or Buccellati)


  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 large eggs, plus 1 additional egg (if needed)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-pound dried figs, stems removed, chopped
  • 2 cups raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • Juice from 2 oranges
  • 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (optional)
  • Nonpareils


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar. Cream until light and fluffy. Add 8 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Combine until just incorporated. If the dough appears too dry, add the additional egg. Divide dough into four portions. Cover each portion with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
  2. Prepare the fig filling. Using the grinder attachment on a stand mixer, grind figs, walnuts, and raisins. Place in a mixing bowl. Add honey and orange zest and orange juice. Mix well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured work area, roll out each portion of dough into a 16- by 6-inch rectangle. Spread approximately 1 cup of filling lengthwise down the center of each rectangle. Do not overfill. Fold one long side of dough inward, over the filling. Then fold the other long side of dough inward so the fig filling is encased on both long sides. Pinch the seams at both short ends to seal.
  4. Cut each rectangle on a slight diagonal into 1-inch strips. Place cookies on parchment-lined sheet pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to set on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to cooling racks.
  5. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the water as needed to create a glaze. You may not need all of the water. Add the vanilla, if using. Dip cookies into glaze, allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle with nonpareils. Place cookies on a wire rack to set. When the glaze is completely dried, transfer to an airtight container.
Did you make this recipe?
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November 24, 2021 — Mary DiSomma